Blog Devotionals

Are Christians Allowed to Work on Sunday?

April 9, 2024 | Sam Rainer

          The fourth commandment in the Ten Commandments is clear. Six days are reserved for work, and the seventh day is for rest. This pattern is instituted first to give glory to God. Second, it helps preserve the physical body. It’s good for you! But there is a theological reason for the Sabbath. In the Genesis creation account, God rested on the seventh day. He wasn’t asleep or exhausted. He was transitioning from creating to ruling. The creative work was complete, and God rested from it. Then He started ruling creation. In the beginning, Adam and Eve enjoyed the permanent rest of God’s sovereignty. They rested under His rule in the perfection of creation.

But then they wanted to rule themselves, so they lost their rest. Since then, we’ve tried to find our rest apart from God. We won’t find true rest until we rest in our Savior, Jesus.
In the Old Testament, we have the promise of rest from God. In the New Testament, we learn how to enter eternal rest—only through Jesus. The Sabbath day (Saturday) is no longer binding because Christ is our Sabbath. While the Sabbath is no longer binding as a law, the practice of a day of rest is good wisdom.

How do we know today if we’re violating the wisdom of a sabbath? If all seven days look the same for you, then you are likely outside the bounds of God’s design. If there is a seventh day, set apart for God, then you are likely exercising good wisdom.  Today in the church, we don’t observe the Sabbath (Saturday, the last day of the week) but rather the Lord’s Day (Sunday, the first day of the week). According to Acts 20, early Christians started gathering on the first day of the week to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. Imagine the radical change to the social structure in the early church. For a thousand years, they had a cycle and a rhythm. It would be as if we changed church to Monday! It was a significant sacrifice to
honor the resurrection of Christ.

But the Lord’s Day was not universally observed in the early church, and Lord’s Day did not exclude gatherings on other days of the week. The Corinthian church met on Sunday, but the
church in Jerusalem met every day. In Acts 20, we learn that some churches met in the evenings and not in the morning.  So, are Christians allowed to work on Sundays? Yes, but. . . you must keep the pattern of weekly rest and worship in place. God does not want us to miss the weekly worship gathering. We’ll dive deeper into this topic on Sunday when we cover the first half of Matthew 12. There is more to this answer. We’ll see you then!